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Portrait of a Girl
Jakob Seisenegger
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We don't know the identity of this girl, but she surely belonged to an important dynasty. Her large, rounded cheeks suggest that she is still quite young, but nonetheless she’s dressed in a stiff formal outfit: a ruffled collar peeks out from beneath a high-necked net bodice woven in alternating stripes with gold thread and a dark purplish yarn. Her cap is embellished with flowers made of pearls and a red bead, perhaps coral. Her red hair, arranged in a series of tiny neat plaits, pokes out at her temples. The rest of her hair is contained in a net of knitted gold thread, also decorated with pearls. The detailed costume suggests a dating of about 1545–50.

X-ray photography reveals a device (a personal emblem) imitating that of the painter Lucas Cranach the Younger, to whom the picture was once attributed. The panel was probably cut from a larger portrait: Seisenegger rarely worked on such a small scale.

Key facts
Artist Jakob Seisenegger
Artist dates 1504/5 - 1567
Full title Portrait of a Girl
Date made about 1545-50
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 28.9 x 21.6 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by the Art Fund, 1926
Inventory number NG4206
Location in Gallery Not on display
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